My first New York City apartment was on 2nd avenue and 9th street before all the luxury apartments went up. I lived there because it was cheap Manhattan. It was described as a two bedroom but the second bedroom, my bedroom, was a closet with a closet.
The floors sloped severely towards the bathroom and when Starbucks moved out of the downstairs commercial space, we acquired a resident mouse.
My rental was dark and small but it didn’t matter because once I left my prewar, 450 square foot, two bedroom apartment, I was in walking distance to the hats, gloves and wigs on St. Marks, cheap food, a jazz trio at Louis, a Nirvana cover band at Sidewalk. My apartment was for sleeping. My neighborhood was for living.
Since then, I’ve lived in New Jersey, other parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn but always found my way back to the East Village.
When it came time to buy, I did my due diligence and looked everywhere I found palatable within my budget. But I knew where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to own a part of east downtown and now, I do.